JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said autopsy results show Jerry Floyd Kirkendall was strangled before his body was stuffed in a freezer inside a home he was renting in the Latimer community.
The man accused of killing Kirkendall, Thomas Elliot Stafford, is still on the run. He is wanted for capital murder, and Ezell said he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Kirkendall's body was found Monday inside the home on Althea St. after the homeowner noticed a foul smell while showing the property to a potential renter. Investigators said the freezer had been unplugged for some time.
Ezell said Kirkendall's car was missing from the scene. The car was found Wednesday morning in Mt. Vernon, AL. Investigators believe Stafford stole the car and drove to Alabama after killing Kirkendall. The two men were reportedly roommates.
Ezell said a relative of Stafford said told investigators he gave the suspect cash and a 9mm handgun for the car March 5, two days after Kirkendall was last seen alive. The cousin then reportedly drove Stafford back to Jackson County.
If you see Stafford, Ezell said you should call 911 immediately.